No Summer Slide Here! 10+ Tips for Making Reading FUN

The ‘Summer Slide’ is a thing, and each household is different. I don’t know about your home, but ours is about a 50/ 50 split of readers and non-readers. But everyone has to read! So, we try to make it even more fun and motivational so it doesn’t always seem like work.


Check out some of my favorite ways to motivate my kiddos – and, yes, my husband! – to pick up a book, and have fun while doing it.

Summer Reading Slide Tip 1: Prize Bucket
I am not above bribery. One of my favorites is the prize bucket. It’s usually filled with books, graphic novels, a few toys, and treats. We set a goal that works for each kid’s reading level, and they get prizes for reaching their goal. Punch cards and tickets work great for this too! 

Here are some daily goal ideas:

  • Read a certain amount of pages
  • Read a certain amount of chapters
  • Read for so many minutes 
  • Read different and/or many books

Summer Reading Slide Tip 2: Fill in a Reading Tracker (download a free one HERE from MMM!)
You can make your own reading log, or check out the one linked above. Have everyone keep their logs in a visible place and make sure to update them daily. Another recording method is a paper chain.

reading log

Summer Reading Slide Tip 3: Family Paper Chain
Make a paper Chain as a family for each book read during the month. Have each person add their name and book to a link. You can have a color per person or have a color scheme. Another idea is to set a goal as a family of so many links. Pick a reward, which will provide a common goal to work towards.  

Some of our family favorites:

  • Movie Night
  • Dinner Out 
  • Family Activity or Outing 
  • Pizza Night 

Summer Reading Slide Tip 4: Read a Book Together 
This has become a recent favorite for our family. We started reading the Harry Potter books together during long car rides, dinner, or while building with Legos. We also listen to audiobooks so my husband and I are not reading for three hours straight. Check out the Hoopla and Libby Apps. 

Other books we have listened to are The Magic Tree House (each book takes about 30-45 min), The Narnia Series, and Disney Twisted Tales. 

Summer Reading Slide Tip 5: Themed Basket
Find or buy a blanket, stuffy, and books that match a certain theme. Then, place them in a basket together for your kiddos to cuddle up and read. You can make several to rotate between them!

Some of the favorite themes for our kiddos have been Bugs, Dinosaurs, Unicorns, Princesses, Minecraft, Adventure, and the Jungle.

Summer Reading Slide Tip 6: Check Out A Little Free Library
The concept behind them is you take a book and leave a book for someone else. Our kiddos love checking out to see what new reads they can find. They love leaving books they no longer read for others as well Another way you can enjoy this feature is by taking a blanket and reading in the park and returning the book when you are done. 

Summer Reading Slide Tip 7: Book Theme Nights
Set up a book theme night. You can make a dinner based on the book, eat a book-themed dessert, and watch a movie (if there is one) for the book.

One idea is The LORAX. You can eat rainbow pasta, cotton candy, colored fish, Teddy Grahams, and drink orange soda floats. 

Summer Reading Slide Tip 8: Host a Book Swap or Book Club with Friends
There are lots of variations you can do with this. 

  • Everyone brings a copy of a book they like and goes home with another 
  • Pick a book to read as a group and then do a craft and eat treats all on the same theme
  • Blind date with a book- Wrap the books in paper with a few key terms 

Summer Reading Slide Tip 9: Reading Bingo
Find a reading bingo page and print it off. You can find them online or on Pinterest. I enjoyed one where I had to mark off different Character types. 

Summer Reading Slide Tip 10: Check out your local Library 
Get a card and check out a few books. Be sure to grab a list of all the fun activities the librarians have planned. Stop in for a reading time or a book chat too! 

Finally: Join a Reading Challenge
Many libraries have reading challenges where you can read throughout the month/season in exchange for tickets and prizes. Another Challenge idea is to print off a reading bingo page from Pinterest or any other reading challenge you may like. 

My biggest piece of advice is to have fun! Let your kids see you enjoy reading. Talk to them about your books and ask them about theirs.

Do YOU have any other ideas we should add? Share them with us, we would LOVE to hear your suggestions!  


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Magann grew up in the Holly, Brandon, and Grand Blanc school areas. Magann was married to her husband Nathan in 2011 and has 3 energetic boys and 1 little girl. After graduating from Utah Valley University and having her oldest son, Magann decided to become a stay at home mom. They moved back to Michigan from Utah 6 years ago. Magann loves to be busy. She is active in her church and church youth program, a PTO board member, as well as, being involved in a couple of book clubs and kids playgroups. She enjoys making connections with others and enriching their lives. For fun, Magann loves to be outside with friends and family, photography, traveling, planning events, reading a good book or doing something crafty/DIY. Check out her work and projects on Instagram or her website.


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